The 14 Best Barbecue Joints in NYC
Who says you can’t get decent ‘cue in the Big Apple?
While New York is no Texas, North Carolina, or Kansas City, it’s still become a barbecue destination in its own right—with exceptional outlets for regional barbecue styles of America available all over town.
In the past year, new joints like the Queens-based pop-up, Bark Barbecue, and Hudson Smokehouse in the Bronx have added to the city’s already rich barbecue landscape, giving New Yorkers some stellar new destinations to devour smoked meats. And with Memorial Day Weekend ahead of us, there’s no better time to order heaping plates of ribs, sausage, and all of your favorite sides. Here’s our list of the best barbecue joints in NYC to enjoy.
Last summer, Queens native Ruben Santana debuted Bark Barbecue, a Central Texas-style barbecue pop-up that has the neighborhood buzzing. Serving exclusively on Saturdays in roving locations around Queens, the white oak-smoked meats and Dominican-influenced sides are responsible for the pop-up’s typically sold out menu. Starting at noon, customers can order individual plates (a choice of meat with two sides) or meat by the pound (a rotating menu is posted weekly on Instagram). Special attention must be paid to the sides like Dominican cornbread, Dominican congrí rice, and maduros. Make sure to show up before the crowd clears ‘em out.
How to order: walk-up or order ahead on Instagram
The Bronx’s Hudson Smokehouse opened their doors for two weeks in March 2020 before the dining room was shut down due to the pandemic. Determined to survive, the spot continued with takeout/delivery and even amid their own trying times, was responsible for bringing 300 meals a day to World Central Kitchen for those in need. Take advantage of their newly-constructed outdoor seating with popular items like the Texas-style brisket (half pound or sandwich), smoked and fried wings, ribs, and smash burgers. Pull up on the weekend for the Saturday special of beef ribs or pastrami on rye.
After the pandemic forced the closure of Danny Meyer’s classic Flatiron outpost of Blue Smoke and Jazz Standard, Blue Smoke’s Battery Park spot is now open for New York-and-southern-inspired barbecue. Cherry-smoked barbecue chicken (glazed in Kansas City-style BBQ sauce) and pepper-rubbed, hickory-smoked Texas beef brisket are among some of the must-order dishes. As for sides, definitely add an order of deviled eggs or mac and cheese. Pre-order a Memorial Day feast here.
Founded in the ‘80s in Syracuse and with locations in Harlem and Gowanus, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que doesn’t look to one single region for inspiration. It instead combines different styles for tender beef brisket, juicy pork ribs coated in a sweet sauce, and the restaurant's real standout item: spice-rubbed, pit-smoked, char-grilled barbecue chicken wings. If you’re looking to make it a date night (even with yourself), go for the sweetheart deal for two that comes with a full rack of ribs and four homemade sides.
Fette Sau is a popular and longstanding Williamsburg spot serving by-the-pound smoked meats that’s one part Central Texas, and another part New York deli. An order of their black angus beef brisket comes with half a pound of delicious, slow-smoked meat coated in a house-made dry rub and their renowned burnt end baked beans is made with pork and beef that’s slowly cooked in beans overnight. With items usually selling out quickly, be sure to check their Instagram for any menu changes or specials of the day.
Fletcher's Brooklyn Barbecue
Fletcher’s doesn’t focus on a specific regionality of American barbecue. Instead, they fire up their own style that’s centered on wood-fire cooking with flavor profiles inspired by their home borough of Brooklyn and beyond. Their barbecue sauces, pickles, and spice rubs are made daily in-house, and Fletcher’s churns out equally great pulled pork, chopped brisket sandwiches, and hot links of spicy Italian sausage. The pork rib tips are a treat, and the dry-rubbed St. Louis pork ribs are a must-try. Add on a side of waffle fries and finish hard with an order of their popular banana pudding.
Hill Country specializes in Central Texas barbecue with meats smoked in post oak wood from the Lone Star State. Along with the traditional wood, this popular Flatiron spot combines high-quality meat and a simple dry rub with low and slow cooking that especially results in a super fatty and moist brisket. Beef up your brisket order with pork ribs, sausages, sandwich options, and sides like campfire baked beans, potato salad, or Texas chili. And if your weekdays are in need of a finger lickin’ upgrade, go for their Weekender package that includes 11 pounds of different meats, Martin’s buns, coleslaw, and more.
It's pretty safe to say that Billy Durney of Hometown Bar-B-Que is NYC's current 'cue king. With locations in Red Hook and Industry City, Durney’s spots serve up Brooklyn-style barbecue (true to the namesake) that utilize southern cooking techniques reflecting the diverse flavor profiles found in Durney’s home borough. Vietnamese wings, Caribbean jerk baby back ribs, Oaxacan marinated chicken, and Korean sticky ribs are just some of the items to enjoy along with Texas-style brisket, pulled pork, collard greens, and Hometown slaw.
Located along the ocean of the Staten Island north shore sits Juicy Lucy, a Central Texas-inspired barbecue joint that has won numerous local awards for their stand-out brisket. In addition to an outdoor patio and indoor seating, the eatery also features a newly-reopened summertime drive-in movie theater. With two showings per day (5:15 pm and 7:45 pm) Thursday-Sunday, pull up your rig, pop the trunk, and have your food brought right to you. Crowd favorites include The Juicy Lucy Burger (a 10 ounce brisket, short rib, and skirt steak patty with a cheese core) and the gravy and cheese-topped Donna Summer Fries. Ordering for the group? Snag the BBQ Family Cookout, which includes brisket, pulled pork, pork ribs, turkey, beef links plus four sides.
Run by husband-and-wife owners Jeff Lutonsky and Meghan Love, Mable’s Smokehouse is an authentic roadside barbecue restaurant named after Lutonsky’s grandma, who he grew up cooking with at his mom’s restaurant in Oklahoma. Here, the popular sliced brisket is lean with just the right amount of fat, and smoky to the point where sauce is not required (though the tangy but sweet house sauce with vinegar is quite good). The tender St. Louis-style ribs are also a must, and arrive actually falling off the bone and brushed with just enough house sauce. Top it all off with Frito pie or the country stew with cornbread.
Mighty Quinn's BBQ
With locations in the East Village, West Village, and Upper East Side, Mighty Quinn’s unites the barbecue traditions of both Texas and the Carolinas. Pitmaster Hugh Mangum’s quest for the ultimate harmony between smoke, flavor, and time shines in his menu that includes all of the staples like brisket, pulled pork, and slow-smoked chicken. One of the signature items is the Brontosaurus Rib, a slow-smoked short rib that weighs in at almost a full pound of on-the-bone meat.
Newly reopened, Brooklyn’s Pig Beach highlights Italian, French, Middle Eastern, Asian, and American barbecue techniques and ingredients. Customers can taste from locally and sustainably sourced specials like NYC-style pastrami, Italian-style charcuterie, za’atar-rubbed leg of lamb, and Yuzu glazed smoked duck. The mainstay menu includes favorites like Buffalo chicken wings, pork shoulder drizzled in Hatch Vinegar sauce, and chef Jeff’s Brisket Sandwich. Add a side of smoked jalapeno and pineapple slaw to complete the meal. Located along the canal, a large outdoor patio is first come, first serve.
Opened in June 2020, Pulkies is a Jewish-style barbecue restaurant with a primary focus on slow-cooked turkey. The joint is “a mix between a New York deli and a traditional American barbecue spot,” according to Pulkies chef and partner Harris Mayer-Selinger. Located in Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market, they focus on ready-to-heat meals, currently available for takeout/delivery. Order the confit turkey wing with hot honey or a whole breast of spice-rubbed turkey with a choice of sides like mac and cheese noodle kugel or braised kale. Passover meals are now available for pre-order here.
Queens Bully gastropub offers American barbecue along with menu items featuring global flavors. Named after the nickname owner Rohan Aggarwal gave Queens Boulevard as a kid, this spot celebrates the neighborhood culture of NYC’s most diverse borough. With communal tables and a long bar, the eatery is a hub during weekends and sports events. Half or whole chicken, brisket, baby back ribs, pulled pork, and smoked jackfruit are all cooked low and slow for hours. And unique flavor profiles are also spotlighted in sandwiches like the 74th St. Aloo tikki (cumin spiced potato patty with mint chutney) or the BBQ banh mi (smoked pulled pork, pickled veggies, and hoisin). For your dipping pleasure, extra sides of their house made barbecue sauces are recommended.